Today is Friday, April 23, the 114th day of 2004. There are 252 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

April 23, 1564, is believed to be the birthdate of English poet and dramatist William Shakespeare; he died 52 years later, also on April 23.

On this date:

In 1348, King Edward III of England established the Order of the Garter.

In 1789, President-elect Washington and his wife moved into the first executive mansion, the Franklin House, in New York.

In 1791, the 15th president of the United States, James Buchanan, was born in Franklin County, Pa.

In 1904, the American Academy of Arts and Letters was founded.

In 1940, about 200 people died in a dance hall fire in Natchez, Miss.

In 1954, Hank Aaron of the Milwaukee Braves hit the first of his record 755 major-league home runs, in a game against the St. Louis Cardinals. (The Braves won, 7-5.)

In 1969, Sirhan Sirhan was sentenced to death for assassinating New York Senator Robert F. Kennedy. (The sentence was later reduced to life imprisonment.)

In 1985, the Coca-Cola Company announced it was changing the secret flavor formula for Coke (negative public reaction forced the company to resume selling the original version).

In 1993, labor leader Cesar Chavez died in San Luis, Ariz., at age 66.

In 1998, James Earl Ray, who'd confessed to assassinating the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968 and then insisted he'd been framed, died at a Nashville hospital at age 70.

Ten years ago: Mourners left red roses, burning candles and cards at the Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace in Yorba Linda, Calif., in memory of the 37th president of the United States, who had died the day before at age 81.

Five years ago: On the first day of a 50th anniversary NATO summit in Washington, Western leaders pledged to intensify military strikes against Yugoslavia and vowed "no compromise" on demands that Slobodan Milosevic withdraw his troops from Kosovo.

One year ago: Global health officials warned travelers to avoid Beijing and Toronto, where they might get the SARS virus and export it to new locations. U.S. negotiators met with North Korean and Chinese representatives in Beijing for the first three-way meeting by the governments since the Korean War. American Airlines reported a $1-billion first-quarter loss.

Today's Birthdays: Actress Janet Blair is 83. Actress-turned-diplomat Shirley Temple Black is 76. Actor Alan Oppenheimer is 74. Actor David Birney is 65. Actor Lee Majors is 65. Actress Sandra Dee is 62. Irish nationalist Bernadette Devlin McAliskey is 57. Actress Blair Brown is 56. Writer-director Paul Brickman is 55. Actress Joyce DeWitt is 55. Actor James Russo is 51. Political filmmaker-author Michael Moore is 50. Actress Judy Davis is 49. Actress Jan Hooks is 47. Actress Valerie Bertinelli is 44. Actor Craig Sheffer is 44. Actor George Lopez ("George Lopez") is 43. Rock musician Gen is 40. U.S. Olympic gold medal skier Donna Weinbrecht is 39. Actress Melina Kanakaredes is 37. Rock musician Stan Frazier (Sugar Ray) is 36. Country musician Tim Womack (Sons of the Desert) is 36. Actor Scott Bairstow is 34. Actress Rachel Skarsten is 19. Actor Camryn Walling is 14.

Thought for Today: "...We are such stuff/ As dreams are made on, and our little life/ Is rounded with a sleep." - From "The Tempest," by William Shakespeare (1564-1616).


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